SPIRIT, INTENT, AND INTERPRETATION OF THE LAWS OF THE GAME OF SOCCER
The spirit of the Laws of the Game of soccer is that the coaches of two teams are supposed to train their players and then let the players come together in a fair and sporting manner to determine the outcome of the match. In effect, each coach is expected to prepare for “my eleven” versus “your eleven,” to not interfere as the players play the game, and may the best team win. The game is for the players. The coaches are to instill the knowledge of the Laws of the Game and the expectation of fair and sporting play in their players.
The intent of the Laws of the Game of soccer is to capture in written language the structure of the game and what represents a fair and sporting manner of play. As with all written language, ideas are placed on paper in the best way possible, but their intended meaning may never quite be fully expressed. Accordingly, referees are expected to apply the Laws of the Game to a match, with the spirit of the game in mind, using expanded interpretations of the Laws as provided by FIFA. The referees are to try to let the players play the game with as little interference as possible.
The “Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees” may be found on the FIFA website at:
All coaches must be as well versed in the Interpretation as they are in the Laws themselves and teach them to their players as well.
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